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Story Notes:
Navigating through their relationship sometimes reminds Pansy of a labyrinth she visited as a child. She starts to feel as if they’re moving along nicely, then there’s a wall up. She has to take steps backwards then proceed a different way. It might frustrate some people, might make them decide it’s not worth it to continue, so they’d turn around and just leave. That’s other people, though, since she doesn’t mind the challenge. It’s not as if she doesn’t have her own walls, after all, so she imagines Hermione feels the same way sometimes.

What they share isn’t easy, it never has been. When they were children, they had dwelled on snide remarks and bickered over various things. Pansy knows she’d been a right bitch from the start, years of upbringing and prejudice taught from the pram on. Hermione had stood up for herself, and that’s what she remembers most of all when she thinks back on those years. Some of the walls she encounters come from back then. Old securities that rear their ugly heads from time to time.

Pansy has been able to actually break some of those walls down instead of having to retreat and choose a different way to get through their relationship. However, some walls are impenetrable, no matter what she tries. Walls that go up after nightmares that have Hermione writhing in their blankets. Times when she’ll just drift off after saying something that reminds her of someone who didn’t survive the war. Times when she starts a fight deliberately, poking at Pansy until she gets a reaction, then there are passionate words followed by an even more passionate making up.

There are some things that Pansy has learned in her twenty-seven years, lessons that mean more than anything taught at Hogwarts. One of the most important is that there are few things in life that truly matter that are easy. Loving Hermione falls under this. It amuses some of her friends that she’s willing to work so hard for something when she’s honestly coasted through so much of her life. They don’t understand the payoff. They’ll never know about the way Hermione touches her, the way she smiles, the way she holds Pansy as if she’s going to cherish her and keep her safe.

It’s those moments that make navigating the maze worth every change in course and broken wall worth the effort.